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Craig Ritchie's Articles

March 2019


Prime Time For Winter Steelhead
by Craig Ritchie
As much as I enjoy ice fishing, and as much as I look forward to a mid-winter trip south to get in some open water casting, my favorite winter pastime has always been river fishing for steelhead. Each year, starting in late February, winter begins to release its icy grip from the rivers flowing into the Great Lakes, and those rising meltwaters trigger a substantial migration of steelhead on their ... more

February 2019


Easy Tactics For Mid-Winter Panfish
by Craig Ritchie
It's well known that the best ice fishing happens early and late in the season. Many species are still putting on the feed bag when the first ice seals the lakes shut, while longer days and the approach of spawning season for many species brings another burst of activity before the ice gives out altogether. But in between, things can slow a bit in what some anglers refer to as the February Blahs. ... more

January 2019


Use Winter Nights To Prepare Tackle For The Coming Season
by Craig Ritchie
If you really think about it, an angler's year can be divided into three neat periods. There's the open water season, when we're fishing every chance we get. There's the winter, when we still fish, but through a hole in the ice. And there's that brief, panic-stricken few days in between, as the last ice melts and it's a mad scramble to get our gear together for another open water season. If yo... more

December 2018


Tactics for First-Ice Walleyes
by Craig Ritchie
While it may not be for everyone, ice fishing in the early winter often produces the best walleye action of the year. Part of the reason for that lies in the time-honored principle of supply and demand. In the spring and summer, forage fish are plentiful, and walleye have it easy. But by fall, after months of heavy predation, forage fish populations have been thinned out somewhat, and walleye have... more

July 2018


Catch Walleye During Summer Cold Fronts
by Craig Ritchie
Stable, warm summer weather often makes for fantastic walleye action as the fish pack into predictable spots and put on the feed bag. But then like flicking a switch, the easy pickings come to a halt with the arrival of a cold front that brings cooler temperatures, clear skies and stiff winds. All of a sudden, it's like every walleye in the lake has developed lockjaw. Cold fronts are notorious... more

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